Gentleness, and Thinking

Dear Sangha,
imagesPema Chodron talks about being gentle with ourselves in this practice. As we talked about that, we became aware that this may be a bit tricky. We may end up with a dichotomy–“I’m doing this well, so great!” Or “I’m not doing this well, so I need to be gentle with myself.” Rather, if we just sit still and observe what arises, what moves—without judgment (or if we do, we don’t judge the judgment)—there is no particular need to add anything to that observation.

Secondarily, though, if difficult feelings arise, or crazy thoughts, we may want to be gentle with ourselves as we see our own reaction to those thoughts and feelings. See the subtle difference? Not sure I know how to say this clearly.

images-2As for “thinking,” the other part of our reading yesterday, we talked about the value or lack of value in labeling “thinking” when we see we’re doing it. You might try just observing, and then try labeling. If you seem to need the labeling, you might do that for a while until it falls away naturally. The point is, as always, observation. Just seeing when thoughts arise and seeing when they seem to fade away. We keep observing. That’s all. There is enormous power in learning to note when a thought arises. We see that the thought is not “us.” It is not who we “are,” but is “only” a thought. A lot of quotation marks here! They stand for the IDEA of “us,” of “are” or of “only.”  😎

Next week we read the section called “Letting Go.” See you then.

P.S. If anyone in the Grawn area could give Loraine a ride to meditation, please contact her at Thanks!